Left to right Haida 100pro filter holder, Haida c-pol, Haida 100x100mm red diamond 15 stop ND filter.
I was recently sent a couple of Haida Red Diamond filters by Haida Australia to test out, a 100x100mm ND 4.5 15 stop neutral density and a 100mm x 150mm GND 0.9 3 stop Medium ND filter. These are Haida’s latest generation, anti colour cast, shock and scratch resistant filters, I have not had a chance to use the medium graduated filter but had the opportunity to use the 15 stop ND during a trip to Kosciuszko National park so this is a review using only this filter.
A bit of information straight from Haida in regards to the new Red Diamond series filters.
“The Haida Red Diamond series filters has the famous Nano coating that is combined with a special process making the glass twice as strong as normal filter glass. Simply put – The red Diamond filters are much less prone to accidental damage”.
Red Diamond filters feature,
- Double Anti- Break strength over a normal filter
- Low risk of accidental breakage
- Ultra-thin nano coating retains superb image sharpness
- Faithful colour reproduction and next to zero colour cast
- Waterproof, Oil and fingerprint proof, easy clean surface
- Scratch resistant for use in harsh environments
- R5 rounded design makes installation easier.
Haida NanoPro MC left, Haida Red Diamond right.
So the new Red diamonds should offer Haida’s excellent image quality that their NanoPro series is renowned for ( I use these myself and they are excellent) but with increased strength, scratch resistance and easier to use design. Looking at the filters side by side they do look quite similar but taking a closer look there are a few differences, the coatings must be a little different as the colour of each filter is different, this has no effect on actual image quality/colour I can just simply see there is a difference there between the coatings. The labelling although not important to image quality has been tidied up/centralised and tells you how many stops the filter is, although that isn’t a concern to most filter users, it does simplify the look and aid in picking up the right filter out of your kit. The other physical difference is the corners, the corners are much smoother and rounded in comparison to the NanoPro, this is said to aid usability sliding the filters into a holder, personally I think it looks much cleaner and anything that helps you handle expensive glass filters a little better is a great addition.
Ignore the dust – The corners, NanoPro left, Red Diamond right.
Another addition is the new look packaging, definitely a little nicer than the Haida NanoPro packaging, excuse the damage this filter has been in my bag for a few weeks and a few hundred kilometres travel.
A small feature I love about Haida filters is the metal case each individual filter comes in, it gives excellent protection to your expensive glass filters, you can just throw this in your bag and you know your filter is safe, also good for storage, I keep mine in their metal cases on my bookshelf and just take what I think I will need for a shoot, added bonus they look great. The Haida Red-Diamond 15stop filter also comes with a card to help you work out your long exposures.
Although I don’t use it myself there is also an app for easily working out your exposures, check it out here,
The big new feature of this new series is it’s claim of twice the strength of normal filters and scratch resistance, very welcome, quality filters are expensive and it’s nice to know that these may take a little abuse, an accidental drop, a bump against a camera, an accidental slide on something not so smooth. I have never had a problem with the NanoPro filters with scratches but I have scratched one of the older 150mm x 1500m filters despite being extremely careful with it, rendering it useless, so I’m really hoping the new Red Diamonds live up their claim.
I am not about to do this with my filters but watch this video of fellow Haida Australia ambassador Steven Morris testing the durability of Haida NanoPro and Red- Diamond 150mm filters by dropping them on various surfaces, it’s hard to watch knowing the value of these, but a great video. Big thanks to Steven for allowing me to link this here, make sure you subscribe to his channel, he’s making some great videos, Steven Morris YouTube.
My thoughts and Images
I have been using Haida filters for a few years now originally the PROII MC 150mm on my Samyang 14mm lens and then the fantastic NanoPro filters in 150mm, 100mm and 75mm sizes, I have been very happy with how these perform so was quite excited when Haida Australia offered to send me the new Red-Diamond 100mm filters to try out, here are a couple of images from my trip to Kosciusko National Park.
Church at Perisher Ski Resort – Canon 6d, Canon 17-40 L, Haida 15stop Red Diamond filter and circular polariser – Settings 17mm, iso200, f11, 113sec
Same image as the above – SOOC no post processing
Same image as above with white balance adjustment, basic curves, spots etc cleaned up in post processing.
As you can see above there isn’t any nasty colour casts image quality is good, the blurring/distortion you can see towards the edges is the lens.
Straight out of Camera – Canon 6d, 17-40L, Haida 15 stop Red Diamond filter. 17mm, f11, iso 100, 113sec.
The above image is straight out of camera using only the Haida 15 stop Red diamond filter, not ideal conditions, but you can see colour is fine.
Same image as above with some white balance adjustment, curves, a bump in saturation.
The same image as above – final edit.
So above I have given a few example images, first three of the Perisher church using the Red diamond 15 stop with a Haida circular polarising filter (C-Pol Included in Haida kits), in order, a black and white edit, a straight out of camera shot of the same scene, then a slightly post processed version of the same image.
Next are images of some plains just outside of Perisher Valley shot with just the Haida Red-Diamond 15 stop filter. Firstly straight out of camera, next a slightly post processed image, then a fully edited Black and white image.
As you can see there is no colour cast in the colour images and the filters are not effecting image quality.
I love the idea my much loved Haida filters are now coming in a shock and scratch proof series. The current NanoPro filters have been very popular due to the lack of colour casts and high image quality, having used both the NanoPro and the Red-Diamond I can confirm that the New Red-Diamond series are just as good, videos like Steven Morris’s linked above are great to see as it gives a bit of proof that these new Red-Diamond filters can take a bit of abuse, a bit of piece of mind I guess after spending your hard earned money on quality filters. At the moment I have a nice set of Haida NanoPro I’m very happy with but will likely swap to the Red-Diamond for my most used filters, 3 stop soft graduated filter and 4 stop ND in the future.
If you are after new filters I think you can’t go wrong with these new Red-Diamond filters.
I hope you found this review useful and it helps you decide if the Haida Red-Diamond filters are suitable for you. If you found it useful, please feel free to SHARE, LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE, these reviews are only possible with your support. Thanks